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Voting in the March 3 Primary Election: What You Need to Know

 

Almost 200,000 Buncombe County residents are already registered to vote in the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, March 3. You have until Friday, Feb. 7, to register to vote, or you can take advantage of same-day registration during Early Voting from Feb. 13-29. Buncombe County Election Services wants to make sure you have all the information you need. Below is information about Early Voting, absentee ballots, finding out if you’re registered, sample ballots, and more. If you have additional questions, contact Election Services at (828) 250-4200.

Learn how to:

  1. Register
  2. Get your sample ballot
  3. Vote! There are three ways: Absentee by mail, Early Voting, and Election Day

Register to vote, or find out if you’re registered:

Do you know if you’re registered to vote? You can find out through North Carolina’s State Board of Elections voter search tool.
Photo ID is not required to vote

If you are not registered, to be eligible to vote you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 18 years old, or turn 18 by the date of the general election.
  • Be a resident of North Carolina, Buncombe County, and your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election.
  • Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction, including probation or parole. If you have previously completed a sentence for a felony conviction, you will need to have had your citizenship rights restored in order to register to vote. You can find information about that process by reading a copy of the North Carolina Voting Rights Guide.

If you meet the above qualifications, download the North Carolina Voter Registration Application to register and mail it to:
Buncombe County Election Services P.O. Box 7468, Asheville, NC 28802, or stop by and register in person at our office, 77 McDowell St, Asheville NC 28801.

If you missed the registration-by-mail deadline, you can also use same-day registration during Early Voting at any of the sites across Buncombe County from Feb. 13-29. You will need to provide proof of residency by providing one of the following with your current name and address:

  • North Carolina driver’s license.
  • Government issued photo ID.
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing your name and current address.
  • Current college or university photo ID along with proof of campus residency.

Preview sample ballots:

  • Sample ballots can be downloaded using the Voter Search Tool provided by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. On the Voter Search Tool page, enter your information, click on your name, then scroll through to see your jurisdictions, polling place, and sample ballot.

Three ways to vote:

Early Voting

For the Primary Election, early voting will run from Feb.13-29. Click here for a complete schedule of Early Voting locations, dates, and times.

Early Voting Locations (click the location name for a map):

?To see a complete schedule of Early Voting dates and sites, click here.

Wait map

During scheduled Early Voting times we offer a wait map. In real time, it tells you how many voters are in line at each location. The wait map will only be available during Early Voting. Make the most of your visit by checking out the wait map before you head out the door.

Absentee ballots

It’s time to start planning ahead if you want an absentee ballot for this year’s primary election on Tuesday, March 3. Anyone can vote with an absentee ballot. If you, or someone you know, would like to receive their ballot in the mail, here is the information you need. There are two steps, requesting and returning.

Requesting:

Anyone wishing to request an absentee ballot may do so for any reason as long as they complete a 2020 State Absentee Ballot Request Form and return it one of the following ways (may not be faxed or emailed):

  • Mail it to: P.O. Box 7468, Asheville, NC 28802.
  • Hand deliver* it to: 77 McDowell St., Asheville, 28801
  • Hand deliver* it to: Voter Information Center in the Asheville Mall (at the McAlister’s entrance near Dillard’s). *Hand delivery is permitted only by the voter or a near relative.
  • Special Note: Military and overseas voters may email to absentee@ncsbe.gov or fax (919) 715-0351 a signed copy of this form.

Absentee request forms must be received no later than Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m.

Returning:

Once your 2020 State Absentee Ballot Request Form has been received, an absentee ballot will be sent out. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and received by Friday, March 6, at 5 p.m. Hand-delivered ballots must be delivered by Tuesday, March 3, 5 p.m.

For more information about absentee voting, visit the North Carolina Board of Elections website.

Near relative exceptions: From Feb. 26-March 2, near relatives may come into the office to fill out a request form for a voter who is sick or disabled. The request will be processed immediately, and the ballot will be handed to the near relative over the front counter. The ballots have the same deadlines as stated above. There is a special form for active duty military, their family members, and U.S. citizens living abroad:

You will need to go to FVAP.gov and follow the absentee ballot instructions to receive an absentee ballot. If you have questions about that process you can call us at (828) 250-4222.

Election Day

Where to Vote:

On Election Day, polls are open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. As long as you are in line by 7:30 p.m., you will have the chance to vote.

One of the most common questions Election Services hears is, “Where do I vote on Election Day?” Early Voting sites are different from Election Day polling places. If you need help finding your voting location, enter your name at the Voter Lookup tool. You can also enter your address at discover.buncombecounty.org and click the voting icon on the left-hand side of the page. If your voting location is a school, be mindful of student drop-off and pick-up times for easier parking.

If you have moved on or before Feb. 2 and you need to update your address, you can do so when you vote. To find your new voting location use the Representative Finder or call us at (828) 250-4200.

Curbside Voting

Another feature Buncombe County Election Services offers is Curbside Voting for those who are unable to go inside due to age or disability. Just pull up to the Curbside Voting sign, and an election worker will come out and help you.

If you have any additional questions, please call (828) 250-4200.